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J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot To Develop Rod Serling’s Final Screenplay Into Event Series

By | Wednesday June 5, 2013 @ 9:30am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Thirty eight years after Rod Serling‘s death, his final screenplay is heading to the screen. J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Prods. has acquired the rights to The Twilight Zone creator’s unproduced last feature script The Stops Along The Way. The project will be developed into an event limited series through Bad Robot’s deal at Warner Bros. TV and taken out into the marketplace. Details about the premise are being kept under wraps. Serling talked about the project in his final interview four months before his death when he was asked if he had a script he has special feeling for. “I just wrote The Stops Along The Way, which is, I think, a lovely script,” he said.

Related: ’101 Best Written TV Series’: Hammond On What Series Were Snubbed

Emmy and Golden Globe winner Serling wrote and produced a number of TV and feature screenplays, including Rod Serling’s Night Gallery, Planet Of The Apes, and Requiem For A Heavyweight, but he is best known for his Twilight Zone anthology series, which was just named one of the top five Best Written TV Series of all time by the Writers Guild of America, West. A reboot of the TV classic is in the works at CBS TV Studios with X-Men director Bryan Singer at the helm. Read More »

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EXCLUSIVE! Matt Reeves Is Warner Bros’ Pick For ‘Twilight Zone’ Movie

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Let Me In and Cloverfield director Matt Reeves has been chosen by Warner Bros to direct The Twilight Zone, the Jason Rothenberg-scripted thriller based on the classic Rod Serling TV series. Negotiations will get underway early next week, but this is an assignment that was coveted by a number of top directors.
The Twilight Zone is being produced by Appian Way partners Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran, and Michael Ireland. Warner Bros’ Matt Cherniss is the exec.  Though the last Twilight Zone film  was an anthology with different directors, this one is a big science fiction action movie with a single freestanding story that is linked to the original series mainly in that it shares that familiarly eerie feel. The hope is to sign to sign Reeves quickly, continue to work on the script and get the picture into production by next summer.

Reeves is aligned with several major projects that will keep him busy for some time. He recently signed on to develop to direct This Dark Endeavor, a revisionist take on the Frankenstein tale based on Kenneth Oppel’s novel, with Jacob Aaron Estes writing the script for Summit Entertainment. Reeves is also attached to direct the Justin Cronin vampire novel The Passage for Fox 2000, and he’s got a deal at Universal to write and direct a film based on the Ray Nelson short story 8 O’Clock in Read More »

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Picture If You Will, A Movie About Rod Serling

By | Thursday June 30, 2011 @ 9:27am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Andrew Meieran and his Bureau of Moving Pictures has acquired rights to make a movie about Rod Serling, the Twilight Zone creator who left behind a remarkable legacy of sci-fi and fantasy work. Stanley Weiser, who wrote Wall Street with Oliver Stone, will script the movie. Serling’s widow Carol Serling will be a producer along with Meieran.

Before he became an iconic TV figure, Serling had a life of struggle that included a stint as a paratrooper and member of the demolition squad in the Army during WWII. Stationed in the Philippines, he saw more than his share of death as the US battled the Japanese, and his experiences would inform much of what he would write later. He worked his way into radio and then became a TV writer who found his niche with the CBS series Twilight Zone, a series that elevated scripted television with thought-provoking science fiction tales, each with a great and unexpected plot twist. The segments have influenced a legion of TV and feature writers to this day.  If you don’t understand the reference “It’s a cook book!,” you could do worse than go back and watch the original episodes.

Serling hatched another memorable TV anthology series a decade later in Night Gallery. Movies were made from both series, there’s a lively Tower Of Terror theme-park ride that incorporates Serling and a haunted hotel, and Serling also co-wrote with Michael Wilson the script for the 1968 sci-fi classic Planet of the Apes, based on the Pierre Boull novel. Serling died at 50, from complications stemming from chain-smoking cigarettes his entire adult life. Read More »

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Scribe Enters ‘Twilight Zone’ For Warner Bros And Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way

Mike Fleming

Jason Rothenberg (The Sparrow) has landed the assignment to write The Twilight Zone, a new feature version of the Rod Serling classic ’50s TV series that Warner Bros is developing with Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way. Details are scant, but the expectation is they will take some of the original stories written for the series by the likes of Serling and Richard Matheson. The deal comes at a time when Rothenberg is adapting for Universal and Imagine Entertainment The Forbin Project, a new version of the 1970 Joseph Sargent-directed scifi tale Colossus: The Forbin Project. Ron Howard is attached to direct and Will Smith is attached to a contemporary Frankenstein story about the world’s first sentient computer and the misunderstood genius who gains power over the world because of it. WME-repped Rothenberg separately sold the pilot True North to Fox with McG and Peter Johnson producing through Warner Bros TV. It’s a treasure hunter adventure show set in the Florida Keys.

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